Born and raised in Arkansas, Clinton became both a student leader and a skilled musician. He is an alumnus of Georgetown University, where he was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Beta Kappa and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford. He is married to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who served as United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 and who was a Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009. Both Clintons received law degrees from Yale Law School, where they met and began dating. As Governor of Arkansas, Clinton overhauled the state's education system, and served as Chair of the National Governors Association.
Clinton was elected president in 1992, defeating incumbent George H. W. Bush. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history, and signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement. After failing to pass national health care reform, the Democratic House was ousted when the Republican Party won control of the Congress in 1994 for the first time in 40 years. Two years later, Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected president twice. He passed welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, providing health coverage for millions of children. In 1998, he was impeached for perjury before a grand jury and obstruction of justice during a lawsuit against him, both related to a scandal involving a White House intern. He was acquitted by the U.S. Senate and served his complete term of office. The Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus between the years 1998 and 2000, the last three years of Clinton's presidency.
Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II. Since then, he has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work. Clinton created the William J. Clinton Foundation to address international causes such as the prevention of AIDS and global warming. In 2004, he published his autobiography My Life. He has remained active in politics by campaigning for Democratic candidates, most notably for his wife's campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, and then Barack Obama's presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012. In 2009, he was named United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti, and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake he teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Since leaving office, Clinton has been rated highly in public opinion polls of U.S. presidents.
Early life and career
Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, at Julia Chester Hospital in Hope, Arkansas. His mother, Virginia Dell Cassidy, traveled to New Orleans to study nursing soon after he was born. She left Bill in Hope with grandparents Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, who owned and ran a small grocery store. The family moved to Hot Springs in 1950.
Although he assumed use of his stepfather's surname, it was not until Billy turned fifteen that he formally adopted the surname Clinton as a gesture toward his stepfather.
In Hot Springs, Bill attended St. John's Catholic Elementary School, Ramble Elementary School, and Hot Springs High School – where he was an active student leader, avid reader, and musician. After a vigorous defense that made use of his "budding rhetorical and political…